This is a really good update from Ron Calzone of Missouri First (www.mofirst.com). It’s often very difficult to explain in an understandable fashion the ins and outs of trying to get good legislation through the processes. Ron did an excellent job of that in the update below! Thanks, Ron!!!
March 5, 2014
It’s been a couple of weeks since our last update on SB 613 , the Second Amendment Preservation Act, and for good reason – I just haven’t known what to report.
The legislative process is not at all like sausage making – it’s much messier. Smoke and mirrors keep you wondering who is for you, who is against you and who is for you, but just preoccupied with things they believe to be higher priority.
After some unusual machinations, on February 20th the Senate “3rd Read and Passed” SB 613. That same day, a Thursday, the bill was sent to the House, where it was “First Read”. (The Constitution requires that every bill be read three times, on separate days, in each chamber before it can become a law.) It was “Second Read” on Monday, February 24th.
Before SB 613 can be “Third Read and finally passed” by the House and sent to the Governor, here’s what must happen with a note about who either makes it happen or keeps it from happening:
- Be assigned to the General Laws Committee (Speaker Tim Jones)
- Have a public hearing in the General Laws Committee (Chairman Caleb Jones)
- Be “exec’d” and voted “Do Pass” by the General Laws Committee (Chairman Caleb Jones)
- Be reported out of that committee and reported to the Rules Committee (Chairman Jeanie Riddle)
- Be reported out of the Rules Committee and placed on the House Floor Calendar (Chairman Jeanie Riddle)
- Be taken up for debate, possible amendment, and a final vote by the full House (Floor Leader John Diehl)
- Signed and delivered to the Governor (Speaker Tim Jones, Pro tem Tom Dempsey)
As you can see, the fate of the Second Amendment Preservation Act is in the hands of four people.
After a week of delay, on March 4th SB 613 was finally assigned to the General Laws Committee. By Speaker Jones That’s step 1. Now we’re relying on Rep. Caleb Jones to hold a hearing, vote the bill “Do Pass” and report it to the Rules Committee.
We expect Governor Nixon to veto the bill just as he did HB 436 last year. The House and Senate will have to muster 2/3 of their members to override the veto. That means every one of the 23 senators who voted for SB 613 will have to also vote to override.
Don’t forget, one Republican senator, Bob Dixon, voted with the Democrats against SB 513, so we can’t count on him for the override vote.
Another factor is the expected gubernatorial appointment of Republican Senator Scott Rupp to the Public Service Commission. It is imperative that the senate be given a chance to override a veto by the governor before Sen. Rupp resigns to take the governor’s appointment. That could happen as early as March 27th.
Since the governor has 15 days to decide whether to veto a bill, it is imperative that the House take up and pass SB 613, without any amendments, by the end of next week.
Nothing happens in the legislative process without consideration to the political ambitions of the key players. Last week filing for the August primary began and the typical jockeying for position ensued.
Although just rumors at this point, it’s looking like Sen. Brian Nieves, the sponsor of SB 613 may drop out of the race for re-election and pursue another job. Rep. Dave Schatz has filed for that seat. The scuttlebutt is that term-limited Speaker Tim Jones will also run for Nieves’ senate seat.
Jones’ ultimate goal is to run for Attorney General in 2016, but he needs a place to “land” during the two years between the end of his House career and the A.G. race. He needs to stay in the public eye.
As Speaker of the House, Jones has been able to raise a lot of money – over $1 million.
You might think that would make him a shoe-in in the senate race, but just this week Rep. Dave Schatz has given his campaign $250,000. The successful businessman has more where that came from, too, so there’s no doubt he is a viable contender against Speaker Jones.
On top of that, it sounds like former Senator Jane Cunningham, a proven fighter of federal intrusion, may enter the fray.
All of that gives Speaker Tim Jones lots of incentive to make sure HB 613 passes and the governor’s veto is overridden. If there’s anything that will kill a candidate in the Nieves district, it would be getting on the bad side of the Second Amendments community!
And the Second Amendment community knows that the speaker of the House can make or break the strongest 2nd Amendment bill in the country — will he be the villain or the hero of the 2nd and 10th Amendment community?
Stay tuned, the next several days will be very interesting.
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